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Do you use earplugs?

  • Yes, all the time

    Votes: 119 39.8%
  • Sometimes, depending on how long I'm riding and what speed I'll be going

    Votes: 76 25.4%
  • No, I'm against them (please explain why)

    Votes: 13 4.3%
  • No, I probably should though

    Votes: 69 23.1%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 22 7.4%

  • Total voters
    299
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Discussion Starter #1
Just curious. I always keep them in for long rides especially if I'm hopping on the highway at higher speeds. I've found my ears hurt and feel a bit muted if I don't have them in for a long time, but it could just be a placebo. My step-dad and friend both ride cruisers with loud pipes and a half helmet (even worse) and they seem to be just fine. Only time will tell though... bless their souls.

Some people swear by them to prevent damage and some people just don't care.... what is your take? Have they been useful in your riding experience?
 

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I always wear them now. I wish I had when I was younger. You don't notice hearing lose until later in life since it's a cumulative effect. But after riding with them for a few years, I find that it's easier for me to concentrate on my riding technique and what's around me if I wear them. The wind noise and loud exhaust I find distracting to me now.

Plus I don't want to give up any more of the hearing I have left.
 

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Don't wear them but should. I have chronic middle ear effusions which causes an odd sensation/sound of crackles while wearing plugs which is more distracting than wind noise. :whatsthat:
 

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I rode nearly 30 years without them and no problems. I played some pretty loud guitar when I was in my 'gigging' days which damaged my hearing way back when.

Now, with that M4 pipe, I wear earplugs on the racebike. I still do not wear them on the street because none of my street bikes are obnoxiously loud.
 

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Motorcyclists Challenge State Laws Banning Use Of Earplugs : NPR
Interesting story on NPR that is kind of related to this topic

From the story: To determine the level of wind noise motorcyclists face, Healy took a recording device for a drive with PhD students. Imagine a mannequin head with anatomically-correct ears stuck out a window. His findings matched previous research showing that at speeds as low as 35 miles per hour, wind noise exceeded 85 decibels.

HEALY: Sounds over that are known to cause hearing damage. The levels that we measured were in the range of 110 to 130 dB.
 

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No earplugs, it I never hop in the saddle without ear buds. Sometimes I play music and sometimes I don't, but they're always in.
Same earbuds, not so much emphasis on the music but helps cancel the noise! im sure other brands are better as its not the most expensive but I feel like without anything the wind noise in my Icon helmet crazy loud..
 

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I have a chatterbox and I replaced the speakers with ear buds that I wear on the street. I don't wear any ear protection on the track. Wut? Lost most of my hearing in my younger days playing my full Marshal stack and launching F-16s. Wut?
 

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I use ear buds and listen to music most of the time so I use those as ear protection, but I have forgot them a few times with my new helmet, but it's so quite I can even tell I don't have them in.
 

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I think a lot of you have the wrong idea. It's not our exhausts that do the damage, but the high decibel sound that wind noise produces when we ride.
Exactly right.:yes
 

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I've been using ear plugs for the last 80,000 miles or so on motorcycles.

As much eyesight as I have lost to aging, I know I have lost more hearing. Eyes don't take as much of a beating when you live on board ships..... living inside an industrial plant and rock and roll aren't easy on hearing long term.

I suppose it's a lot like smoking -- it has to get better when you stop abusing your body.
 

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Don't wear them and never thought to wear them as I wanted to be able to hear the noises around me. However, I may need to rethink this...
 

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I always wear my radians ear plugs. Because of some issues as a really little kid, I'm already partially deaf and don't want to make it any worse than it is. And maybe not all helmets are this way, but the helmets I've owned create a lot of wind noise (especially at 70+mph). I have a SENA SMH-10 that will still turn up loud enough to hear over my ear plugs if I need to, but I really only use it for phone calls if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Don't wear them and never thought to wear them as I wanted to be able to hear the noises around me. However, I may need to rethink this...
Word. Glad I made this thread and got you thinking.

It's definitely a myth that it blocks out noise (it really just mutes it and makes it sound different). I find it actually makes for a more concentrating ride and makes you focus more on your surroundings. You have no problem hearing things like sirens or a horn.

Check these out, I have the older model and they're great: http://www.amazon.com/Nonoise-Motor-Generation-Ceramic-Filter/dp/B00EDHWELY/ref=sr_1_11?rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1440628546&sr=8-11&keywords=motorcycle+ear+plugs
 

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Don't wear them and never thought to wear them as I wanted to be able to hear the noises around me. However, I may need to rethink this...
There is a limit to how much noise can be blocked by earplugs (somewhere in the 35-40 dB range). Sound is still transmitted through your body around the ear canal (primarily through the bones) so you still hear plenty of sound. Might be hard to make out specific words, but you are still going to hear cars, sirens, etc. It muffles a great deal of the wind noise in your helmet though.

I've been using ear plugs nearly as long as I've been riding. Foam plugs are cheap and convenient. But they should be replaced regularly, and you do have to be careful when rolling the foam plugs between your fingers before insertion. If it folds and creates a crease, the crease may remain after they expand and this can allow a great deal of high frequency noise at or near full volume.

I personally use the "World's Finest Ear Plug" brand of plugs. They are like clay and you just knead them and mold them into a taper. Insert them and crush the blunt end into the outer ear. They work really well. The only downsides are due to the clay-like properties. They pick up dirt easily and leave a residue on your fingers after kneading them. Over time, it can build up inside your gloves. They seal more consistently than foam plugs once you learn to put them in correctly.

I've been seeking a good set of ear buds recently. I have no desire to listen to music. But the speakers included with my SENA 20S aren't audible at speed. It really sucks to miss your exit because you can't hear your navigation directions. Perhaps my ear plugs are too good? haha. I'm trying out a 4th set now. Went through a pair of cheaper AKG buds that work pretty well when inserted correctly. But getting it to sit right is trying and despite being really low profile, it gets knocked out of place too easily (particularly when putting my helmet on).

Tried some Klipsch R6 buds. Very easy to get a great noise seal. But they stick out too far and get pulled out when putting my helmet on. Its a real shame as they sound great.

Decided to try a cheap set of Sony buds. Couldn't get those to seal in my ear canal at all.

Currently trying out a pair of Shure SE215's. They come with foam and silicone sleeves in three sizes each. The largest of each seal well and do a good job but gets dislodged kind of easily. I should be receiving a package of triple flange seals for it tonight. These should allow me to insert the sleeves deeper into my ear and hopefully that will hold them in place better while I put my helmet on. The only downside is the cable is really long (64"). I wish they made a shorter version as they can be detached at the buds.
 
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